The Manhattan Project

Women

Rose Bethe's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and I'm in Ithaca, New York. It is Wednesday, June 11, 2014. And I have with me Rose Bethe. And I'm going to start by asking Rose to tell us her name and spell it.

Rose Bethe: My name is Rose Bethe. It's spelled B as in boy, E, T as in Tom, H, E.

Mary Lou Curtis's Interview

[Many thanks to Bill Curtis for recording and donating this interview to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.]

Mary Lou Curtis: When I got out of college, it was 1932 and a big Depression was on. Miami University, where I graduated from, only placed one teacher that year because jobs were so hard to find. I didn’t get a teaching job that first year, but I worked in the Miami University Library for I think maybe thirty cents an hour and managed to get through the year.

Dunell Cohn's Interview

Cindy Kelly: It is January 14, 2014, and we are in St. Louis, Missouri. And I want to ask the first question of you, which is to tell us your name and spell it. 

Dunell Cohn: My complete name is Dunell Edlin Cohn, D-U-N-E-L-L. Edlin is E-D-L-I-N. And the last name is Cohn, C-O-H-N.

Kelly: Very good. 

Esther Stenstrom's Interview

Alexandra Levy: We are here on December 27th in Florida. This is Alexandra Levy. I am with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. And we are here today with Esther Stenstrom. My first question for you is to please say your name and to spell it. 

Esther Stenstrom: My name is Esther L. Stenstrom, E-S-T-H-E-R, middle initial L, S-T-E-N-S-T-R-O-M. 

Levy: Where and when were you born?

Stenstrom: I was born in Crescent City, Florida, March 9, 1922. 

Helen Jernigan's Interview

Cindy Kelly: My name is Kelly. I am with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. And I am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee today, which is Friday, September 6, 2013. And we are very fortunate today to have Helen Jernigan. And I am going to start by asking Helen to say her name and spell it.

Helen Jernigan: Jernigan. H-E-L-E-N, J-E-R-N-I-G-A-N.

Peggy Bowditch's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today is Thursday, November 7, 2013, and I have with me Margaret Parsons Bowditch. And my first question to her is to tell me her name and spell it.

Peggy Bowditch: Peggy Bowditch, that is B-o-w-d-i-t-c-h.

Kelly: Thank you. And can you tell me something about who you are, when you were born and where you were born?

Priscilla McMillan's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today’s date is June 6, 2013. And we’re in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Priscilla McMillan. And I have a very easy question to begin with, which is, could you say your name, and spell it?

Priscilla McMillan: My name is Priscilla, P-R-I-S-C-I-L-L-A McMillan, M-C-M-I-L-L-A-N.

Celia Szapka Klemski's Interview

Cindy Kelly: Start, my name is Cindy Kelly of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and it is Tuesday August 13, 2013 and with me I have Denise Kiernan. Denise would you like to say and spell your name.

Denise Kiernan: Denise Kiernan, D-E-N-I-S-E K-I-E-R-N-A-N and I am here with Cindy Kelly and Celia Klemski.

Kelly: Okay, so Cecelia—we have called you Cecelia—can you please tell us your full name and spell it?

Celia Szapka Klemski

Celia Szapka Klemski was featured in Denise Kiernan’s “The Girls of Atomic City.” She grew up in a small coal-mining town in Pennsylvania. She worked as a secretary in Washington, DC, before she was transferred to New York City to work on the Manhattan Project. There she enjoyed sightseeing and touring the skyscrapers. Eventually she was transferred to Oak Ridge, where she settled down and married another Manhattan Project worker.

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